Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Open University Ranking System?

Cameron Neylon, Curtin University
Greetings from the Future Campus webinar on the CWTS Leiden Ranking Open Edition. This claims to be an open verifiable way to rank universities. It is an advance on the ranking systems produced by publishers, in that you can look at the data, and use it to come up with your own custom ranking system. Also Leiden ranks 1411 universities, which is more than most other systems (except Webometrics). Cameron Neylon mentioned the interesting work he is doing at Curtin University for a more detailed analysis of Australian university rankings.

The rankings on the Leiden system are not that different to others, in that the leading Australian universities still come out on top. This should not be a surprise as this is ranking research only. As Elisabeth Gadd pointed out in the webinar, the rankings are not an indication of education quality. As a result, in my view, these rankings are no better than previous ones for the purpose which they are most used: students, and their parents, selecting a university. 

Unfortunately the public assumes that research quality translates to education quality. Universities exploit this misunderstanding in their marketing. The ranking scheme I still prefer is Webometrics, as it covers more institutions. 

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